After prosecutors recently filed hate crime charges against a Portage Park man for allegedly painting swastikas and racist prison gang symbols on two businesses, we decided to check court records to see how some other Chicago hate crime cases were progressing.
It turns out that three cases on our court case tracking list have concluded in recent weeks, with very different outcomes for the defendants.
Gospel music confrontation
Gregory Gaimari received a 2½-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to one count of hate crime on April 21, according to court records.
Prosecutors claimed Gaimari punched a Black neighbor and threatened to have her killed by the Aryan Nation because she was singing gospel music in the 6300 block of North Albany around 11:30 a.m. on November 4, 2020.
The woman was singing gospel songs on a speaker in front of her house and streaming on Facebook Live when Gaimari, 53, allegedly came across the street and told her to leave his neighborhood. The two had reportedly never met before.
Prosecutors said the woman ended her Facebook stream as Gaimari began yelling the n-word and calling her a b*tch. He then allegedly pushed over her loudspeaker and punched her in the chest.
Prosecutors said Gaimari threatened to have friends in the Aryan Nation Brotherhood kill the woman.
She defended herself by chasing Gaimari back into his apartment with a can of pepper spray. Prosecutors said he came back out and continued to hurl racist insults from the stairs.
Both the victim and Gaimari dialed 911, bringing police to the scene.
Witnesses reported seeing Gaimari push the woman, yelling racial slurs, and pushing her speaker to the ground. One witness also confirmed hearing Gaimari talking about the Aryan Nation Brotherhood, according to prosecutors.
Gaimari allegedly told police that the situation escalated after he asked the woman to turn her music down, but he denied pushing her or knocking over her equipment.
Judge Catherine Haberkorn sentenced Gaimari. His sentence was reduced by 50% for good behavior, and he received credit for 434 days he spent in custody before sentencing. According to Illinois Department of Corrections records, he arrived at Stateville Correctional Center on April 26 and was paroled ten days later.
Robert Buschman of Atlanta faced 12 felony charges following a February 2019 incident on the Halsted Street bar strip in Boystown.
Chicago cops conducting a traffic stop on Halsted saw Buschman, 34, punch a 25-year-old woman repeatedly in the face.
Officers intervened, and the woman, who is of Hispanic descent, told them Buschman approached her, yelled “F*ck you, immigrant b*tch,” and punched her in the face. They had never met before, she claimed.
When cops stepped in, Buschman struck one of them in the eye, calling the male officer a “black b*tch n*gger,” according to an arrest report. The officer suffered minor injuries and swelling to the eye.
A grand jury indicted Buschman on ten counts of felony aggravated battery and two felony hate crime charges.
According to court records, a judge closed the case on April 21, 2022, after receiving proof that Buschman had died.
From attempted murder to misdemeanors
Two men who spent four years fighting charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated battery, and hate crime each pleaded guilty last month to a single misdemeanor, according to court records. All of the other charges were dropped by prosecutors.
The cases began in July 2018 in Rogers Park. Prosecutors accused Amer Al Rabadi, then 55, and Shakeer Al Rabadi, then 36, of punching and stabbing a female relative because she was dating a Muslim man, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.
The paper said that the men were also accused of attacking the woman’s 19-year-old boyfriend.
But, after fighting the allegations for years, Shakeer Al Rabdi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and Amer Al Rabdi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery, according to court records.
Judge James Obbish sentenced them each to 12 months probation.